Written by my good friend Julie Ziemelis and shared with full permissions.
I wanted to post an update from West Hawaii to assure you that we are in no danger from the lava, despite the sensationalism you may be seeing in the national news reports coming from the East Side. (in fact, Fox News reported that the lava flow was on Oahu- and I can report that Diamond Head is not menancing Waikiki right now.)
As you may know, Kailua Kona and the Kohala Coast are 100 miles from the lava eruption site.Yes, I felt that 6.9 earthquake we had on Friday, but nothing broke and unbelivably there was little damage on the island that was reported. My friends in Volcano Village and Hawaiian Ocean View estates felt the numerous earthquakes that were happening last week when the eruption was in full force, but for now, all is quiet. Volcanoes National Park has re-opened and the lava flow actually stopped today. (Not sure for how long, but there is a blessing there)
Here is what Hawaii County Civil Defense posted today: The East Rift Zone eruption in Leilani Subdivision continues. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms volcanic activity has paused at all 14 fissures. Hazardous fumes continue to be released. Since the onset of this eruption, a total of 14 fissures have emerged. The lava has covered 104 acres and 36 structures have been destroyed.
Sadly, people are starting to cancel their vacation plans to the island because they are worried. Except for the VOG coming over to Kona (similar to 2014, 2008, and several other years) we are really not feeling any impact from the lava. In fact, as a resident of Waikoloa right now, the trades are coming through and the air quality up here is great. Here is what Hawaii News Now reports about the VOG for more info.
If you look at the lava zone map above, you will see that West Hawaii is relatively safe from an active lava flow as Hualalai has not erupted since the 1800’s and the Kohala Coast is impacted by Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano.
If you are worried about the real estate market and how it is faring through all of this, you can bet that real estate values are taking a hit near the lava zone and getting insurance in Lava Zone 2 may be difficult after this event.
(I will include a link to a real estate report that I am working on soon)
In the meantime, know that the beaches are still open, restaurants are fine and life is going on as normal in West Hawaii.
Here are a few links that people have enjoyed from my blogs:
What did the crater at Pu’u O’o look like before and after the lava disappeared when the eruption started 12 miles away in Leilani Estates? Check out this video.
What was it like flying by Kiluea Volcano and being there when the crater fell in and caused a pink plume?
Do you know that it sounds like a million blow torches going off near the fissures? Check out this video and listen to that sound:
It is an exciting time to be here on the island and one of deep reverence to nature (and Pele!) and the ability for neighbors to help neighbors in a show of the true Aloha Spirit. If you would like to help out from where ever you are, the Hawaii Food Basket is taking donations to feed the evacuees and you can target your donation to help them here.
Ps I have gotten a few messages about people wondering if they can go see the live lava. County officials are asking the public NOT TO GO in that area in respect for the homeowners, danger from sulfuric vapors, and roads with cracks. If the flow ends up in the ocean, you can bet there will be ocean lava tours via boats, you can take a helicopter tour with Paradise Helicopters out of Hilo and when things settle down, you can see the area, much like going to view the transfer station in Pahoa that was almost destroyed in the 2014 flow.
Here are images that the national news outlets are publishing that you may have seen: